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Overall Rating
2.9

Awesome: 11.29%
Worth A Look: 25.81%
Just Average: 17.74%
Pretty Crappy32.26%
Sucks: 12.9%

5 reviews, 32 user ratings


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Resident Evil: Extinction
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Yeah, It's Dumb But Not Dumb Enough"
2 stars

Despite what many of you may think, there are two very good reasons as to why I have in the past chosen to break ranks with the majority of the critical community and sing the praises of both the original “Resident Evil” and the follow-up “Resident Evil: Apocalypse.” The first, of course, has been the always-exciting presence of Milla Jovovich as the world’s hottest genetically altered zombie killer–with her stunning good looks, charismatic presence and the fearsomely convincing manner in which she threw herself into the various sequences of undead ass-kicking, she has come across as the closest thing that contemporary American action cinema has to the likes of Pam Grier in her early 1970's heyday of “Coffy” and “Foxy Brown.” The other equally important secret to the success of those movies has been the cheerfully screw-loose manner in which they have been put together. Perhaps realizing that they had the talent to co-opt certain ideas and images from the works George Romero (who was once slated to direct the original “Resident Evil”) but not the talent to originate anything on their own to match the raw terror or piercing social commentary that he brought to his own zombie extravaganzas, the filmmakers instead chose to go for an aggressively goofy and cheerfully adolescent approach to the material that suggested what a couple of 14-year-old boys hopped up on Mountain Dew might have come up with had they been granted the power to make a film–splattery special effects, hot girls running around in tiny outfits and ludicrously over-the-top stunts that defied gravity, logic and narrative cohesion but which nevertheless provided the kind of instant rush that can be incredibly exhilarating under the correct circumstances. Alas, those two elements are in short supply in “Resident Evil: Extinction,” the third and allegedly final film (although it does leave room for future installments) in the series based on the popular video game franchise. This is a dull and utterly exhausted film that merely rehashes material from the earlier films without adding anything fresh or exciting to the equation. Even those of you who enjoyed the first two films as much as I did are likely to walk away from this one feeling disappointed and ripped off.

As the film opens, we learn that the zombie outbreak featured in the first two installments–the result of a mishap involving the dreaded T-virus in the genetics lab of the Umbrella Corporation, a multi-national behemoth that seemingly combines the worst aspects of Halliburton and Wal-Mart–has spread throughout the world and only a few human survivors remain to continue their constant effort to avoid becoming zombie food themselves. (If this weren’t bad enough, it appears that while mankind may be all but extinct, “In A Gadda Da Vida” somehow managed to survive the apocalypse.) Alice (Jovovich), our genetically-altered heroine, has been on the run since escaping from the clutches of Umbrella at the end of the previous film and has been living an isolated existence of roaming from town to town and dispatching any undead that she comes across. Oh, it turns out that as a result of her last stay with the evil folks at Umbrella, she has now been equipped with amazing but ill-defined telekinetic powers that allow her to lift objects into the air whenever she flashes back to footage from the previous movies.

Along the way, she comes across a convoy of human survivors–including leader Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), cute kid K-Mart (Spencer Locke), sexy nurse Betty (Ashanti) and “Apocalypse” survivors Carlos (Oded Fehr) and L.J. (Mike Epps)–and rescues them from an attack by a swarm of zombie crows. The group discovers that while the T-virus has spread throughout the world, it may not have hit Alaska and so they decide to head in that direction. Before leaving, they stop in the now-deserted Las Vegas to stock up on supplies, not realizing that the last remaining members of Umbrella Corp. have set up shop there in a last-ditch effort to reverse the effects of the T-virus. Returning mad scientist Dr. Issacs (Iain Glen) announces that he is on the verge of a breakthrough that will not only immunize survivors against becoming zombies themselves, it may be able to reverse the infected enough to allow them to serve as a docile work force–all he needs for the serum, naturally, is Alice’s blood. Before he can pull this off, Issacs is infected himself and is transformed into a hideous monster that Alice will have to confront in the big final battle if humanity is to have a chance of being saved.

Okay, now that you mention it, the plot of “Resident Evil: Extinction” is just as ludicrous as the previous entries in the series. The difference is that those films at least seemed to realize just how goofy they were and tried to ramp up the outrageousness with such elements as zombie dogs, zombie hookers, ill-advised short-cuts through graveyards and, in the most famous bit from the first film, a security system with a deadly laser that transformed its victims into human waffle-cut french fries. Here, screenwriter Paul W.S. Anderson (who wrote the previous episodes and directed the first) and director Russell Mulcahy are content for the most part to simply rehash things that worked the first time around–the zombie dogs and that laser both make return appearances–without even trying to put a new spin on them and what’s worse, they utilize them for the most part with a glumly serious approach that seems wildly at odds with the essential silliness of the proceedings. There are a couple of promising ideas that crop up here and there–such as the idea of setting much of the action in a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas–but they never bother to develop them in any meaningful way. (Couldn’t we have had one shot of millions of dollars of now-useless currency being burned to make a fire?) Other ideas, such as Alice’s new telekinetic abilities are so poorly integrated into the proceedings that they feel like last-minute additions that were thrown in to perk things up a little.

However, when it comes to squandering precious resources, nothing beats the way that they misuse the film’s primary attraction, Milla Jovovich. Inexplicably, the film chooses to keep her off-screen for most of the first half of the film while throwing most of the narrative bones to the small army of new additions and returning characters, no doubt in an effort to establish them for a potential “Resident Evil 4" if Jovovich decides that she has better things to do. The problem is that none of these characters are particularly interesting or memorable and by forcing us to follow them around for scene after scene, it means that we don’t start getting what we came to see–outlandish battle scenes in which Jovovich takes on dozens of zombies without getting a scratch or mussing a hair–until the film is more than half over. When she does finally get to cut loose with the physical stuff, leaping through the air and giving her opponents the Ginsu treatment with a pair of knives, she is as fearsomely convincing as always and makes for a singularly sexy sight as she stalks around in an outfit consisting of a long duster and the shortest shorts imaginable–call her The Supermodel With No Name–but for the most part, she just seems as bored with the proceedings this time around as I was.

Although “Resident Evil: Extinction” is a tremendous disappointment–and bear in mind, this is coming from the guy who raved over “Ultraviolet”–it does have a couple of moments here and there where the nuttiness of the earlier films manages to come to the surface and saves it from complete disposability. There is the attack of the zombie crows, nasty little beasts whose exposure to infected meat has forced them to exactly emulate shots from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” There is the heart-to-heart talk between Alice and Carlos when she informs him what she has been up to in the last few years and he responds “And after the world ended?” There is the moment when the nurse spends approximately a half-hour carefully swabbing a tiny scratch on someone’s forehead but somehow fails to notice that a zombie has taken a big bite out of the person’s stomach. Last, but certainly not least, there is the undeniably arresting image with which the film comes to its merciful end–I won’t spoil it for you but I will say that it is a visual that I will carry around in my mind long after I have erased my memory of the rest of “Resident Evil: Extinction,” a process which I hope to have completed by the time you read these words.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15903&reviewer=389
originally posted: 09/21/07 04:40:58
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User Comments

1/21/12 Velociraptor Best of the Series 5 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles Best one so far 4 stars
12/09/10 RCF They have Totally forgett that zombies need food, and the characters arent even hot anymore 1 stars
3/24/08 wnm Except for the multiple clone stuff the movie was sad, completely unoriginal and not scary 2 stars
12/21/07 WeeToddDidd Better then the second, looking forward to 1 more. 4 stars
10/28/07 Geoff Chapman great, fun, MUCH better than RE: Apocalypse. Worth checking out. 4 stars
10/23/07 William Goss For a zombie video game flick, somehow too tedious and strange for its own good. 2 stars
10/14/07 I-K Competent director works minor miracle with Paul W.S. Anderson's lazy, derivative script. 4 stars
10/02/07 DavyDock Rushed but Okay movle. Just not that well Thought out. Tyrant is terrible. 3 stars
10/01/07 John L. WHERE DID HOT JILL GO? It was an okay movie, hope they make the 4th movie a little better. 3 stars
9/27/07 Dave Good movie, good action scenes but still Apocalypse was the better of the three so far 4 stars
9/27/07 John S. This was by far the best movie in thise series since the first one. 5 stars
9/27/07 Ole Man Bourbon Terrible. 1 stars
9/26/07 RAY FROST Super great awesome Milas costumes are awesome she is one fine woman. I LOVED IT 5 stars
9/24/07 Rich Good movie! FUN! 4 stars
9/24/07 Tom Forsdike Quite entertaining. Worth your time. 4 stars
9/24/07 Brian Mckay Too short and Milla has too much makeup on, but still a fun movie w/ good action scenes. 4 stars
9/24/07 alisha pearce best movie ever, LOVED it, hope 2 see a 4th edition. 5 stars
9/24/07 Zombiefly Um, super zombies, awesome outfits, romance and cliffhanging? Psh, yeah! 5 stars
9/23/07 lady horrible..if there is a 4th i hope its 100% better than this one 1 stars
9/23/07 ben all i have to say, is "all day on autoplay!" mila should design her own costumes more often 5 stars
9/23/07 btrb awful- waste of talent and franchise. boring. 1 stars
9/23/07 mark madsen not as good as last one 3 stars
9/23/07 Shawn Churchill This film has nothin' I haven't seen from the previous Resident Evil films! Cheesy endin'!! 1 stars
9/23/07 kris terrible 1 stars
9/23/07 Elvis Good movie, terrible ending. 3 stars
9/22/07 SAS SAD 1 stars
9/22/07 Bill Gosse Fun movie! 4 stars
9/22/07 Jory West Terrible Let Down 1 stars
9/22/07 KingNeutron Fantastic date film - fun stuff, and Milla is SMOKIN' as always!! 4 stars
9/22/07 Tanner Just got home from it and I hope to god ther is a fourth 5 stars
9/22/07 Renea I am torn between liking it and really hating it. I was hoping for more, but oh well...... 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Sep-2007 (R)
  DVD: 01-Jan-2008

UK
  N/A

Australia
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Directed by
  Russell Mulcahy

Written by
  Paul W.S. Anderson

Cast
  Milla Jovovich
  Mike Epps
  Ali Larter
  Oded Fehr
  Iain Glen
  Spencer Locke



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